For better or worse, Adam Sandler and Chris Rock have teamed up for another movie, Grown Ups, which opens tomorrow. The buzz has been lukewarm for a couple of reasons: 1) Sandler’s last effort Funny People was underwhelming and 2) the flick is about one of those dreaded old friends reunions. Think The Big Chill if it starred a bunch of comics.
Sandler has been a A-list comedy actor for over a decade, while Rock has struggled to transition his brilliant stand-up routine to the big screen. In fact, Rock is responsible for a string of clunkers, so if anyone is long overdue for a hit, it would be him. However, Sandler is not immune to dropping a turd either. Combine the two resumes and what you get is an impressive list of cinema swill.
Excluding cameos like Sandler’s turn in The Animal, and voice-over work like Rock in Osmosis Jones, here are ten of their absolute worst movies.
10. Airheads (1994)
With a cast that includes Steve Buscemi, Chris Farley, Michael McKean and Michael Richards, one would think this rock band holds radio station hostage comedy would be stellar, but it isn’t. The laughs are minimal and the paper-thin story peters out half-way through. Even Buscemi’s inspired performance couldn’t rescue it from sucking.
9. The Longest Yard (2005)
Here is a classic example of why some movies should NEVER be remade. It’s not Sandler or Rock’s fault this poor attempt to conjure 30-year-old magic fails on virtually every level. It’s the studio’s fault for greenlighting it in the first place. The original film was hilarious and gritty. The retread is neither.
8. I Think I Love My Wife (2007)
Rock goes for more of a straight man role in a movie falsely packaged as a romantic comedy. If it was written as drama, it probably would be watchable. Unfortunately, it’s supposed to be funny as Rock struggles to not cheat on his wife. Yawn. Its only saving grace is the sultry Kerry Washington.
7. Click (2006)
Is it Back to the Future? It’s A Wonderful Life? A Christmas Carol? Pleasantville? No, no, no and no. Instead, it’s a ill-conceived mishmash of fantasy and comedy. The premise is interesting for about six minutes, then falls apart due to a lack of laughs and a predictable narrative.
6. Pootie Tang (2001)
Despite the glorious title, this would-be send-up of ’70s blaxploitation films is a hot mess. It retells the same joke over and over; too bad that joke isn’t remotely funny. Mercifully, it runs only 70 minutes, although it feels like much longer for those brave enough to sit through it. Even Louis C.K., who wrote it, admits it sucks.
5. Bedtime Stories (2008)
A twelve-year-old would probably find this movie enjoyable. Die-hard Sandler fans, not so much. While I can appreciate him wanting to make a flick for his own kids, he’s better suited sticking to what made him famous. If I wanted to watch a film about storytelling, I’d pop The Princess Bride into my DVD player.
4. Down to Earth (2001)
As with #8 on this list, Rock tones down his schtick to unsatisfying results. The Heaven Can Wait story isn’t all that entertaining in previous incarnations, so why producers felt the need to resurrect it again is a mystery. The script is tepid and the laughs few too many. Needless to say, Rock should avoid all remakes.
3. Little Nicky (2000)
Sandler aims for crude and annoying playing Satan’s son and hits the mark. Too bad crude and annoying doesn’t equal funny. I’ve only walked out of a few movies in my life and this was one of them. After watching it all the way through a few years later, I hated it even more.
2. Bad Company (2002)
Ugh. What a pile of festering feces this turned out to be. Pairing Rock with Anthony Hopkins in an action-comedy is not a smart idea. Everything that worked in a film like 48 Hrs. falls flat in this convoluted Jerry Bruckheimer produced train wreck. This is one I should’ve walked out of, but foolishly didn’t.
1. Bulletproof (1996)
It’s Bad Company, only twice as awful. To refer to this as action-comedy is a slap in the face to all legitimate action-comedies. I call it Midnight Run for morons. Sandler must have learned his lesson because he has since steered clear of the genre. I wish I could flush the memory of this stinker down the toilet. It’s an abomination.